Oncological diseases (cancer) are among the diseases that are still not fully understood, and their treatment, unfortunately, is not always effective.
This is why the rapid increase in the number of possibly detected cancer patients, predicted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), makes both doctors and all of us anxious. The latest cancer research data from 2020 states that more than 9 million new cases of cancer have been reported worldwide.
Cancer is very dangerous and unpredictable. Modern oncology counts more than 100 types of cancer, which means there can be a myriad of symptoms. For example, breast cancer may not cause any pain or visible symptoms until almost the last, fourth, stage of the disease. And yet, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women everywhere. Approximately one in ten women worldwide develops breast cancer.
The unpredictability of cancer is characterized by the fact that so far, despite the amount of cancer research, scientists cannot determine exactly what triggers the appearance and further development of cancer.
Of course, oncologists give all patients general recommendations:
- Observe the daily routine.
- Stick to a proper diet.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking and drugs.
- Get regular checkups, especially if the family has a history of cancer.
However, all of these remain general guidelines that can be applied to almost any disease.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH CANCER DIAGNOSIS?
The first thing to do is to make sure that the diagnosis is correct.
- The diagnosis cannot be made independently.
- A diagnosis cannot be made from a description of symptoms on the Internet.
The diagnosis of cancer can only be made in a hospital and only on the basis of the results of your tests. Examples of tests that can detect cancer: blood tests, urine tests, stool tests, blood tests for specific markers to detect ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men at an early stage, fluorography, mammography (for women to detect breast cancer) and so on.
After reporting the diagnosis, check with your doctor for more information. Make sure the diagnosis is correct and based on your test results.
After that, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with your doctor and getting more specific information:
- What kind of cancer do you have?
- What stage of cancer?
- Where is the tumor located?
- What treatment does the doctor suggest?
- What is the treatment cost?
- What is his prognosis regarding your treatment and survival rate?
After you have learned all the necessary information, you should start treatment. There may be a few problems waiting for you:
- The treatment prescribed by the doctor is too expensive and insurance will not cover its cost.
- The treatment you need is not approved in your country.
Medical tourism can solve both of these problems.
WHERE TO TREAT CANCER ABROAD?
Medical tourism is a very popular phenomenon. In 2020 alone, the global medical tourism market was about $44.8 billion. Experts predict that in 2022, this amount could increase to a fantastic $54.4 billion. Studies show that 14-16 million people used medical tourism services in 2017. The increase in the number of medical tourists is observed in all corners of the world. The biggest growth trend in treatment abroad is seen in developed countries, such as the United States, England and Western European countries.
For example, in the United States, about 1.4 million Americans travel abroad each year for medical care in other countries. The savings are 40-50%, depending on the procedure.
The choice of country depends largely on patient survival rates, your preferences, your doctor’s recommendations, and the specifics of the treatment required.
Several countries can be singled out as leaders in accepting foreign patients with cancer:
- Germany – specializes in the most advanced treatment methods.
- Israel is one of the Meccas of cancer tourism, which has held the lead for decades thanks to its advanced medical facilities.
- Turkey is an increasingly popular location for cancer treatment. The possibility of unconventional treatment and special attention to patient care.
- South Korea is a relatively recent and serious claim to being an international center for cancer patients. High technological level of medicine.
- Ukraine is one of the cheapest countries with modern methods of cancer treatment.
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CANCER TREATMENT ABROAD
The main indicator of the effectiveness of cancer treatment is the five-year survival rate. If a patient is alive five years after cancer treatment and has no recurrences or new tumors, the diagnosis is removed. This is the way doctors around the world operate. Thanks to this indicator we can safely judge the level of effectiveness of cancer treatment both in a country and in an individual clinic*.
You can ask the clinic for statistics on the survival rate of their patients.
In 2015, The Lancet published a study on five-year survival rates in different countries. It lasted 15 years. Specialists studied the histories of 37 million patients. As a result, they drew conclusions about five-year survival rates for 18 types of cancer in different countries.
The five-year survival rate is estimated as a percentage.
For example, an 80% survival rate means that 80 out of 100 people who were treated for cancer stayed alive for five years. They are removed from the diagnosis and are considered healthy.
Survival study table with results in Israel, Germany, South Korea, and Turkey.
Type of cancer
Lymphoma in children
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children
Most often, doctors recommend going to Turkey with myeloid tumors and brain cancer.
To Germany for the treatment of all types of blood cancers in adults and children: lymphoma, leukemia in children, lymphoid and myeloid tumors in adults.
Israel has some of the highest survival rates for the following cancers: prostate cancer, lung cancer and pediatric brain tumors.
In recent years, South Korea has taken the lead in treating gastric and esophageal cancer, as well as liver, colon and rectal cancer. Advanced Korean technology allows not only to treat cancer themselves, but also to regularly train doctors from other countries around the world.
WHAT KINDS OF CANCER TREATMENTS ARE TREATMENTS AVAILABLE ABROAD?
In addition to various unconventional methods, there are a number of well-established traditional cancer treatments. The prescription, duration and intensity of treatment depend on the stage and type of cancer, as well as determined by the doctor purely individually and only after diagnosis.
Cancer treatment methods:
- Radiation therapy – the use of radiation to kill cancer cells.
- Surgery – tumor biopsies and other surgeries related to cancer treatment.
- Chemotherapy is the use of pharmaceutical drugs to kill cancer cells.
- Targeted therapy or proton therapy – blocks cell growth and the spread of cancer.
- Immunotherapy – strengthens natural immunity and cellular functions.
Medical oncology tourism has opened the door for many patients to get the qualified treatment they need. This method of undergoing medical procedures has demonstrated a willingness to respond to clients’ needs and provide them with everything they need.
Today, medical tourism is a complex of measures aimed at getting the patient everything he requires. Starting from transfer from the airport to support during the rehabilitation period.
If you have doubts and can’t decide “how and where to treat cancer,” you should seriously consider becoming a medical tourist in one of the countries with a high level of medicine.